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Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1049

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02

... Extraordinary things are happening in the streets through which the procession passes. Pest-smitten women rise from their beds to costume themselves,-to mask face already made unrecognizable by the hideous malady,-and stagger out to join the dancers.... They do this in the Rue Longchamps, in the Rue St. Jean-de-Dieu, in the Rue Peysette, in the Rue de Petit Versailles. And in the Rue Ste.-Marthe there are three young girls sick with the disease, who hear the blowing of the horns and the pattering of feet and clappi

ng of hands in chorus;-they get up to look through the slats of their windows on the masquerade,-and the creole passion of the dance comes upon them. "Ah!" cries one,-"nou ké bien amieusé nou!-c'est zaffai si nou mò!" [We will have our fill of fun: what matter if we die after!] And all mask, and join the rout, and dance down to the Savane, and over the river-bridge into the high streets of the Fort, carrying contagion with them!... No extraordinary example, this: the ranks of the dancers hold many and many a verrettier.

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